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Bob Chapek Confirms Disney Will Overhaul Epcot

geekza

Well-Known Member
Obviously predicting the future is futile. It's likely you'll get just as much right as wrong. But to be able to inspire a young kid about the possibilities that the future has is what EPCOT Center was about, and there's no reason it couldn't be that again, in a more modern context, while still appealing to the masses.
I think that you make a very good point. I don't know that predicting the future is futile, so much, because some of the things that, in the past, were in the realm of Science Fiction that have become commonplace, like handheld computers; being able to talk in real time, including video, with people from all over the world; electronic repositories of knowledge that can be accessed at any time by (almost) anybody; robots that perform functions that used to take several humans, in a fraction of the time, with fewer errors, etc. Heck, it wasn't that long ago that the thought of man landing on the moon or being able to fly around the world were considered pure fantasy.

You hit on what I think is the most important aspect of what EPCOT Center caused: Inspiration. By focusing on ideas, it was able to implant the desire in young and old alike to say, "What if?" We were shown the progress of man from prehistoric times and made to feel proud of mankind's accomplishments. It wasn't all whitewashed, either. We were presented with the difficulties that face us today, but shown the possibilities of things we could explore to overcome the obstacles in our path. We were told, in pretty much all of the original pavilions, that man's struggle to progress is not new, but has always led to achievement because of mankind's intelligence and tenacity. Both Future World and World Showcase were infused with hope for a better today and tomorrow. Whereas the Magic Kingdom is all about escapism, EPCOT Center was all about the wonders of reality.
 

montyz81

Well-Known Member
. Both Future World and World Showcase were infused with hope for a better today and tomorrow. Whereas the Magic Kingdom is all about escapism, EPCOT Center was all about the wonders of reality.
I honestly think this is where the general public got lost when thinking about Epcot Center. I have heard people complain that they did not want to be educated on vacation. That they just wanted to go somewhere and relax and shut their minds off, generally speaking. It has only gotten worse as Epcot has gotten older. Instant gratification has taken hold of the world today. No longer does anyone want to spend a few minutes pondering the possibilities because a quick search on Google can get the answer for you in a matter of seconds, leaving SSE, UoE, WoM,Horizons, JII, Seas, Land and Life all taking too much time to barely entertain because they required to much time to think. Epcot Center's demise is due to the world's impatience. IMO.
 

TJ Vazquez

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
I honestly think this is where the general public got lost when thinking about Epcot Center. I have heard people complain that they did not want to be educated on vacation. That they just wanted to go somewhere and relax and shut their minds off, generally speaking. It has only gotten worse as Epcot has gotten older. Instant gratification has taken hold of the world today. No longer does anyone want to spend a few minutes pondering the possibilities because a quick search on Google can get the answer for you in a matter of seconds, leaving SSE, UoE, WoM,Horizons, JII, Seas, Land and Life all taking too much time to barely entertain because they required to much time to think. Epcot Center's demise is due to the world's impatience. IMO.
Great post. I'll also add that debatable decision making over the years have exasperated its demise.
 

RSoxNo1

Well-Known Member
I honestly think this is where the general public got lost when thinking about Epcot Center. I have heard people complain that they did not want to be educated on vacation. That they just wanted to go somewhere and relax and shut their minds off, generally speaking. It has only gotten worse as Epcot has gotten older. Instant gratification has taken hold of the world today. No longer does anyone want to spend a few minutes pondering the possibilities because a quick search on Google can get the answer for you in a matter of seconds, leaving SSE, UoE, WoM,Horizons, JII, Seas, Land and Life all taking too much time to barely entertain because they required to much time to think. Epcot Center's demise is due to the world's impatience. IMO.
I think Imagineers haven't been given the opportunity to dream. There are fleeting examples of EPCOT Center in current Epcot. There are things that would be thematically appropriate and wouldn't feel like a learning experience. I think things like Mission: SPACE, the Test Track pre-show and Soarin' all satisfy these sorts of things. A Coco inspired overlay in Mexico would also satisfy cultural representation without truly feeling like "learning".
 

montyz81

Well-Known Member
I think Imagineers haven't been given the opportunity to dream. There are fleeting examples of EPCOT Center in current Epcot. There are things that would be thematically appropriate and wouldn't feel like a learning experience. I think things like Mission: SPACE, the Test Track pre-show and Soarin' all satisfy these sorts of things. A Coco inspired overlay in Mexico would also satisfy cultural representation without truly feeling like "learning".
I'd agree with that because Disney execs see the turnstiles spinning over at UNI. Why put in learning when you don't have to and the general public doesn't want it.
 

RSoxNo1

Well-Known Member
I'd agree with that because Disney execs see the turnstiles spinning over at UNI. Why put in learning when you don't have to and the general public doesn't want it.
I have very little confidence that the Iger administration understands or cares about proper theming in the parks. In some respects they can get away with it, but too much damage removes the charm from the parks and destroys any long term loyalty from younger guests.
 

MuteSuperstar

Well-Known Member
"Smartphones" are an interesting paradox, aren't they? ;)

Truly believe they are among the worst things to ever befall humanity, but good luck convincing the people who can't stop staring at them for more than 5 seconds.

"I remember back in my day we used to sit around the radio and listen to the news, now kids spend the whole day watching tv! they're being brainwashed! Kids don't have the attention span for the radio anymore!" - people in the 1950's

Totally different and far more insidious in my opinion, but that's all it is, an opinion.

Soccer moms didn't hurtle down the road in SUV's at 50 miles an hour with a TV in front of their faces in the 50's, for one.
 
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Rodan75

Well-Known Member
I'd agree with that because Disney execs see the turnstiles spinning over at UNI. Why put in learning when you don't have to and the general public doesn't want it.

I’m not sure they are that concerned, because objectively those turnstiles aren’t spinning fast enough.
 

Demarke

Premium Member
I understand the statement and even the thought behind it, but I'm unwilling to concede that it's correct.

I think it may be more of a self-fulfilling prophecy. As people that were in charge in the early years aged (and those that have replaced them) they have operated under the assumption that the next “new” generation doesn’t have the capacity for such engaging attractions. As a result, they probably put less into keeping the quality of the existing pavilions up and used drops in attendance or reviews to further justify their opinions.

Falling back on IP is a lazy way out in my opinion. Of course, when presented with a survey, they’re going to get results that favor what people are already familiar with over the unfamiliar but innovative blue sky concept. My theory is that the homogenization trades short term popularity spikes into likely future long term losses. If you try to be Magic Kingdom part 2, people are more likely to see Epcot as an optional park in the future than something worthwhile with its own identity. You risk losing both the old loyal base and those who are curious to experience the different concept, in exchange for hoping enough people will come to offset that because they liked the Frozen or GotG franchises. They probably will early on, but I don’t know how sustainable that is.

The cycle seems similar to so many cable channels that started with a unique concept and interesting programming but then cashed in on “reality” programming and became essentially the same as everything else. The initial gains from “giving the people what they want” wear off over time but not before alienating and losing many of those that were the core consumers. There’s a bigger audience for reality programming, so it’s a tempting market to target but they are also more likely to jump ship when the next flashy thing comes along because they can get that anywhere.

TL/DR - If you try to capture a market segment that is not otherwise interested in the core concept of your product, you might just find that your loyal base hasn’t stuck around when all the people you were trying to accommodate have lost interest and moved on to the next new thing.
 

mikejs78

Premium Member
Younger guests don't have the attention span to be loyal.
I understand the statement and even the thought behind it, but I'm unwilling to concede that it's correct.
I also don't concede it's correct. Every generation says this - "young people these days!" It's also easy to blame technology.. Truth is, there have always been people with good and bad attention spans... I don't think any generation is worse than another in that regard.
 

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